At the recent Oregon session of the Leadership in Ministry workshop, my colleague, Bob Dibble, workshop coordinator, made a fascinating suggestion: think about the birth order of everyone on your board. I asked him this week to say a little more about this.

Here’s what Bob said:

“Sibling position–yours and theirs–has the potential of raising your functional awareness of the emotional processes going on in any gathering.

“For example, I’m a first-born and would more easily relate to other first-borns (gender, however, also needs to be factored in; namely, I would more easily relate to first-born females as opposed to males).  By contrast, I would be more challenged by last-borns and even middlers, whose birth order I do not share.

“It seems to me to be another helpful lens through which to examine my functioning with the many groups that comprise the local church (or any other system).”

Sibling position is not absolute — sometimes a second born ends up acting like a first born. But it’s a way to get a little more neutral about how people on your board might be acting — and how you might get hooked by what they do.

What do you know about your board members and their birth order? What do you notice about yourself and how you lead, based on your place in the family sibling pecking order?

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